Tag Archives: art career

Some Information about Me….

I don’t go into my past that much, I pretty much believe in making the best of things and moving on.  I realize, though, not giving you the perspective of my early life, may make the philosophy behind my work seem naive, maybe even Pollyanna-ish.  Also, maybe others hearing about the struggles I have gone through, who may be going through something similar, will be able to take away from my experiences to find hope and maybe strength.

So, here goes.  In my Junior year of high school, I was a very happy, good student.  My art portfolio was strong.  It looked as if my life was set: Art college, and then a career as a  professional artist.

I have made no secret about the fact that I am bipolar.  However, the timing of my first (and probably worst) psychotic episode, was a problem. Added to it, was the anxiety every teenager goes through.  It came up in my senior year of high school, while you are finishing your school work and applying to college.

Let me say a little bit about what is meant by mixed moods.  Strange though it seems, a bipolar can go through periods of experiencing both depression and mania, at the same time.  This is what was happening to me.  As it played out, I was seeing symbolism and meaning in random, ordinary things in life.  I was also severely depressed.

Against this, I was supposed to do an final essay for my English class on the symbolism of a certain book.  I had no filter for judging symbolism at this time, I was seeing symbolism in such minutia of my life.  So, I could not finish the essay (or the class) in time for my graduation in June. I know, but I was really, really crazy.

I applied to three art colleges.  The Rhode Island School of Design was considered the finest art school at the time.  There were assignments to do for the application I sent.  Two drawings, one of old shoes and one of a bicycle, which I completed and felt I had done a good job.  Another was drawing of my choice.  Remember, at this point, I had very little judgement.  I could not decide on the subject to draw.  Also, I was to write a biography.  Again, the lack of filter made me unable to choose what to write about my short seventeen years, in only a page.  So, I did not complete the application.

I applied at the Cooper Union in NYC.  I was well received, and got an acceptance (if I recall correctly) on the condition that I complete the English class in time for graduation.

I applied to Carnegie-Mellon.  There, I received a flat out rejection.

Many years later, I went back to my high school for transcripts.  I was told, that despite the fact that I had been rejected by Carnegie-Mellon in their correspondence to me, that my high school was send a conditional acceptance, dependent on me completing English by the September start date of classes.  This was something I had managed to do, and I found out about the letter to my high school many years later.

So be it. It is what it is.

Would my life have been better if I had gone through a smooth path to art college?  Maybe, maybe not.  I was never able to find the time or money to go back and try again.  I did get art education bits at a time, although I missed the technical expertise that a full immersion would have given me.

I do think, however, that I am a person first and an artist second.  The years of “keeping on trucking” taught me about the complexities and richness of life and other people that I might have missed otherwise.  I feel those years also affected my artwork in a positive way.  Maybe I am not the most technically able artist, but I like my style and subject matter.

So, that is my story.  I am happy with my art and myself, now, so this story has a happy ending.  Peace.

Here’s a piece of my art from my happier time in high school.

mural

I Wanted to Sell Out!

But no one was buying. (Warning: Bad art displayed, here)

I always wanted to make a living with my art.  At first, I wanted to design posters.  I assumed that if a subject appealed to me, then it would appeal to other people.  However, I think most artists create with that in mind.

I’ve been given many suggestions by well-meaning people for making money with my art.  Design tatoos?  Most of the work suggested would really make me hate doing artwork. (Note: if you like tatoos, I don’t see anything wrong with it, they’re just not me).

So off I went on a journey to make money with my art.  My first try was portraiture, which I’m still willing to do.  It’s just hard to find enough clients with so much competition.

grandma

I should mention the woman in this portrait was 110 years old at the time.

Then I had a great idea of doing very small pictures that I could do quickly, and sell for cheap.  Limited success there.  Here’s one that actually sold:

417

Then the whole ACEO (Art cards editions and originals).  These are cards that are

2/12 inches by 3 1/2.  Many people collect them, and some artists are very successful with this.  A popular theme is cats.  I thought, I like cats!,and did my best.

I was a little bored with the subject matter, and could not compete with the ones who really could do cats very well.  Here is my sad try:

1048

Also, landmarks on ACEO’s seem to work.  However, I didn’t have the patience to do good drawing of NYC.

grandcentralaceo

So,now I’m back where I started from….doing pictures I like, and hoping to earn money from them on hold.  But not given up, as I learn more about marketing.

Hopefully, my meandering career will be of some help to young creative people out there.  Some will tell you “art is a product”, but in my experience, how you feel about what you’re doing affects the quality of the product you’re producing…..and bad products don’t sell.

Okay, back to work!